Timberline Trail - easy turn to miss - please note on Timberline trail instructions

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Openminded2
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Timberline Trail - easy turn to miss - please note on Timberline trail instructions

Post by Openminded2 » August 16th, 2020, 12:40 pm

Along the timberline on Saturday, I and several others (separately) proceeded straight through the intersection of Timberline and an unnamed trail that, turns out, I s a short cut through some campsites and a meadow to the Matzama trail. As the trail got narrower I suspected I stumbled on the unnamed scramble trail to McNeil point, not staying left somewhere. When I emerged on the well worn unsigned Matzama trail, I could go north or south. My thinking at that point was maybe this was the new McNeil Point trail and proceeding north/left would bring me back to Timberline. I, like the two unlucky hikers 10 minutes ahead, chose north and went down, down, down, until a Matzama hiker clued us in.

In hindsight, I had read a sign posted « Do not camp in the Meadow » while thinking about the meadow camper I just passed. I do wish that sign had said, « Timberline Trail —> » as the do not camp in the meadow sign is not working and a guide to the trail certainly would be more valable at a hard Right when a well worn straight sits in front of us.

I believer my point of error was at 45.400883,-121.732357, after the first lovely meadow/pond. Don’t make my mistake.
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adamschneider
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Re: Timberline Trail - easy turn to miss - please note on Timberline trail instructions

Post by adamschneider » August 16th, 2020, 1:03 pm

Openminded2 wrote:
August 16th, 2020, 12:40 pm
In hindsight, I had read a sign posted « Do not camp in the Meadow » while thinking about the meadow camper I just passed. I do wish that sign had said, « Timberline Trail —> » as the do not camp in the meadow sign is not working and a guide to the trail certainly would be more valable at a hard Right when a well worn straight sits in front of us.
Apparently you didn't see the Sharpie note that someone added to the Do Not Camp in Meadow sign? :)

squidvicious
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Re: Timberline Trail - easy turn to miss - please note on Timberline trail instructions

Post by squidvicious » August 16th, 2020, 1:24 pm

So if I understand you, this missed turn was at the tarns? Yes, that no camping sign is useless and confusing. What I was told is the path that continues straight is a use path that does not officially exist, and thus, officially speaking, does not require signage to clarify. So you were very unofficially lost.

I do think the field guide description of "...the McNeil Ponds. The main trail goes between them..." is pretty confusing compared to what you actually see on the ground. Mention of the useless sign would be helpful.

A few years back as I was coming down from McNeil point I stopped to talk with a couple women at that spot, along with what apparently turned out to be a guy hiking the timberline trail who had attached himself to them. In the course of conversation the women asked if I was coming from McNeil point, and to clarify the way for them, which I did. Here the guy jumped in and quite adamantly started correcting me that, actually, the path straight ahead was the timberline trail. He went on for a while mansplaining the trail to us, before taking off in that direction. I thought it was a bit odd that he was correcting me on the way I'd just come, but after all he wasn't the one who'd asked me for directions, and the women didn't seem sorry to see him go, so I didn't bother trying to argue.

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Re: Timberline Trail - easy turn to miss - please note on Timberline trail instructions

Post by adamschneider » August 16th, 2020, 1:55 pm

The description on the McNeil Point Hike page is more detailed:

"Some people refer to these as the 'McNeil Ponds.' The main trail goes between them, then continues upward to the right. (A side trail to the left goes past the second pond, then up to a small meadow, then joins the upper part of the Mazama Trail.)"

squidvicious
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Re: Timberline Trail - easy turn to miss - please note on Timberline trail instructions

Post by squidvicious » August 16th, 2020, 2:01 pm

Ah, I forgot that was the McNeil Pt one I was quoting. Still, I do think the "between them" bit is confusing, whichever trail description it actually appears in.

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Re: Timberline Trail - easy turn to miss - please note on Timberline trail instructions

Post by adamschneider » August 16th, 2020, 2:05 pm

I added a paragraph about the ponds to the main TLT page. They're enough of a landmark that they probably deserve a mention anyway.

And I made sure to include the phrase "into the trees" on both pages.

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Openminded2
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Re: Timberline Trail - easy turn to miss - please note on Timberline trail instructions

Post by Openminded2 » August 16th, 2020, 3:28 pm

Thanks Adam. At the Sandy river, I heard a hiker reading from the Timberline Trail description, so I know every word on that doc is followed. I myself printed it, studied it. The addition of the "McNeil ponds" (even though there is no sign) would have been helpful in itself because they were unusual. I was super cautious not to take any right turns up hills and that caution didn't help me. Ironically, I have since noticed that the deceiving cut through trail is on strava (though not google or others), can you believe it?

I did run into a Mazama ranger? person on my way down and he said that they would be doing work on the Mazama(?) trail next weekend. Not that it is their job, but a sign where the wrong trail comes out on the Mazama trail would be valuable "Hey hiker :? , go right for Timberline, left for the trailhead" (or something more official-sounding), would've spared me angst.

The only other challenge I had was the utter confusion at the Sandy River. I really thought I would be crossing at the logs I crossed when I started from the Ramona trailhead. The kind person who attached a pink trailer? to the tree really saved the day. "Exit here" in blinking lights.
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retired jerry
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Re: Timberline Trail - easy turn to miss - please note on Timberline trail instructions

Post by retired jerry » August 18th, 2020, 6:08 pm

I encountered some people continuing to the 2nd pond rather than continuing on pct a month ago
Thanks for clarifying that adam

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